Just imported from the great At Last books of Denmark, ‘Slang King’ brings together nearly 40 years of Mark E Smith on stage with The Fall.
From the start he warned us, We are Northern white crap that talks back, and he would rarely disappoint. This compilation of his intros—Good evening, we are the British Royal Navy and this is the art ass bandit section—outros—Thank you for allowing us in your … security area. We’re off to civilization. Good night—socio-political commentary, his heckling of the audience, holding other bands up to ridicule, and berating his own, the joking (always at someone’s expense), all a reminder of the degree to which he performed and wrote in real time, live. For Smith, content, and to a large degree discontent, was at the heart of it all, words and lyrics its very expression. His brain: his instrument. The steady, at times brave backing of the mighty Fall, his anchor and his launching pad. From the long, long days.
Edited and with an introduction by critic and curator Bob Nickas, a Fall fan of rare vintage (first show: December 1, 1979, opening for the Buzzcocks at the Palladium in New York), the book is accompanied by more than 30 of Nikholis Planck’s drawings, created especially for publication herein.
We're going to knock you down, we're going to come inside your head. Thank you and good afternoon ... right, Psycho Mafia take one.
—22 July 1978, Deeply Vale People's Free Festival.
We are The Fall. Rule One: no-one gets on stage. Rule Two: no spitting. Rule Three: no requests.
—28 March 1979, Hazel Grove Youth Club, Stockport.
Right, the keyboards have broke down so you're getting something unique. Anyone who wants a fifty cents refund send an airmail letter to the Outer Hebrides. Good evening, we are The Fall anyway.
—16 July 1981, Tut's, Chicago.
[to heckler] Go and form a group then, go on. Are you fucking Siouxsie Banshee or somebody? Eh! It's Siouxsie! It's Siouxsie out of The Banshees! Oh, lovely! Fucking eh! Fucking comb yer hair the next time you come out!
—4 September 1981, Sheffield Polytechnic.
If we carry on like this, we're gonna end up like King Crimson ... Echo And The Bunnymen ... I'm a head wrangler ... Joy Division ... Crass ...
—1 February 1983, Biel, Switzerland.